Stoicism

A Change of Plans

Death is one prophecy that never fails. Every person is born with a death sentence. Each second that passes by is one you’ll never get back.“ – Edmund Wilson

We all have other plans. Each day is expected to be roughly what we thought it might be when we went to bed the night before. But God, the gods or the universe (depending on your belief) tends to laugh at such silly things as plans. And so it was that today my own plans were set aside for the immediacy of a life well-lived ending sooner than any of us would want.

Last week my step-father told me privately that he would die soon. It turned out to be prescient as he passed away this morning. We talked then about this blog, and he challenged me on why I wrote so much about death. I told him I don’t write of death because I’m in any hurry to arrive there, but because it’s a stoic reminder that we all face it someday. And so it reminds me that we should truly live today. Embrace life, embrace your loved ones, and fully relish this brief time we have together. He accepted that answer, and I believe he did because he did fully embrace life and those who were lucky enough to be part of his life.

Today the world is hollower than it was yesterday. Its up to those of us who have survived him to fill that hollowness as he did over and over in his own life. I believe we do so by rising to the occasion. Our lives, fully realized, serve not just ourselves but those we touch along the way. By rising closer towards our potential we have more to offer the world. And the world could use the help. I suppose that’s all we can do in the end.

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